Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big Lots $1.88 Assistive Technology Device

Today was an "in the office" day, so I grabbed my classy PT friend at lunch and said, "This is a Big Lots day--wanna go?"  About once a month I go across the street from our office and cruise the aisles at B.L.--looking for cheap deals on crackers, school supplies and ideas for working with students.

I felt a little embarrassed because my PT friend is, how shall I put it, classy.  She's from Belgium and goes home each night to enjoy a little wine, cheese and crackers with her husband before making a well-seasoned dinner.  I fit into B.L. perfectly but she kinda stands out from the rest of us bargain hunters.  However, she bought a six-pack of tube socks today so I guess she might end up being a B.L. convert.

Perusing the stationery/school supplies aisle my eye was snagged by a group of brightly-colored compasses.  In the past I've tried adapting compasses by making a quarter or half-dollar sized, thin disc of tagboard with non-slip webbing attached to one side.  If you punch a tiny hole in the center of this disc you can make a non-slip coaster for the point of the compass and this allows the student to swivel the compass around more easily to draw a circle.  However, it still slips around a little and the point of the compass sometimes punches a hole into the drawing paper and even the table surface.

Hanging next to the compasses were packs of magnetized clips.  A big smile came over my face and I grabbed my classy PT friend to hurry up and get back to the office.  Once there I ripped off the clip from the quarter-sized magnetic base and found that the little opening on the top of the magnet was just right for the point of the compass.  Putting it on a metal surface, such as a bookcase or cookie sheet, works great for drawing circles with the compass.  As my classy friend who speaks four languages would say---Viola!  

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